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By J.D.Y. Peel

The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria are unheard of for the copresence between them of 3 non secular traditions: Islam, Christianity, and the indigenous oriṣa faith. during this comparative research, instantaneously ancient and anthropological, Peel explores the intertwined personality of the 3 religions and the dense imbrication of faith in all features of Yoruba historical past as much as the current. For over four hundred years, the Yoruba have straddled geocultural spheres: one achieving north over the Sahara to the area of Islam, the opposite linking them to the Euro-American international through the Atlantic. those exterior spheres have been the resource of contrasting cultural impacts, particularly these emanating from the area religions. besides the fact that, the Yoruba not just imported Islam and Christianity but additionally exported their very own oriṣa faith to the hot international. ahead of the voluntary sleek diaspora that has introduced many Yoruba to Europe and the Americas, tens of millions have been offered as slaves within the New international, bringing with them the worship of the oriṣa. Peel bargains deep perception into very important modern subject matters similar to spiritual conversion, new non secular events, kin among global religions, the stipulations of spiritual violence, the transnational flows of latest faith, and the interaction among culture and the calls for of an ever-changing current. within the technique, he makes an immense theoretical contribution to the anthropology of worldwide religions.

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Extra info for Christianity, Islam, and Oriṣa Religion: Three Traditions in Comparison and Interaction

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Now, both these modes proceed by abstracting their data from history, even when their aim is an idealized, general history or the determination of real historical causes. For what they compare are either societies described in a detemporalized ethnographic present or a cross-section from a society in history, a frozen moment taken as some kind of whole; and they aim to establish relationships between variables that hold apart from historical time. But it is inconsistent with a realistic concept of what society is, and human experience within it, thus to base comparison on a procedure that eliminates change, incompleteness, and potentiality, memories, and intentions—in a word, historicity.

Her convincing answer was that it was due to different patterns of labor use, which in turn depended on contrasting evaluations of what activities were appropriate to particular age/ sex categories. In other words, the key factor was specific cultural patterns, which existed in the present simply as a precipitate of the past and were themselves only to be explained historically. By the same stroke, we are forced to take culture/ideas/ religion seriously and to open social explanation to history.

For it is then reified rather than viewed as the hinge between the past of which it is the precipitate and the future that it aims to prefigure. History, Culture, Comparative Method 35 Mode V: Histories Compared What we need is a Mode V of the comparative method, where it is histories, or societies in change, rather than just societies that are compared, following the path blazed by the great historical sociologists or comparative historians such as Frederick Maitland, Max Weber, and Marc Bloch.

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